Top 15 Best Things to Do in Gozo, Malta
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Are you planning to visit Malta on your next vacation? If you are, don’t miss to visit Gozo. The island is just a 20-minute ferry ride away from Cirkewwa, a harbour on the northern side of Malta. Although subject to seasonal price change, the ride costs €4.65 for pedestrians. If you’re bringing along a car, you need to shell out €15.70. You can find additional information for your trip at visitgozo.com.
Take note that Gozo is home to one UNESCO-listed World Heritage site—the Ggantija Temples—and three others on UNESCO’s tentative list (e.g., Cittadella, Coastal Cliffs, and Dwejra Bay geological features). Be sure to visit these sites and include the following activities in your itinerary.
Get a stunning 360-degree view from the fortifications of Rabat, the medieval hilltop city.
Rabat or Victoria, the capital of Gozo, should be your first stop. Here you’ll get your first real feel of the island’s heritage. It is a village that witnessed the comings and goings of different conquerors and warriors, such as the Romans, the Arabs in the 9th century, and the Normans in the 12th century. Looking like Jerusalem’s miniature version, Victoria has had its share of ups and downs, getting torn down due to conquests. The Knights of Saint John rebuilt the walls of the city after it was ruined by the Turks in 1551.
From the Citadel, you can see a panoramic view of Gozo. And as you walk the old town’s narrow roads and winding alleys, you’ll see quaint houses and ancient architectures with 17th-century Baroque style doorways and Corinthian pillars. Don’t miss to visit the Cathedral of the Assumption, the Old Prisons, the Folklore Museum, Saint George’s Basilica, and the Church of Saint Francis.
Visit the Ggantija temples, the UNESCO-listed neolithic site.
Did you know that the origins of this archaeological complex can be traced back to as early as 3600 BC to 3200 BC? Yes, this site is older than the Pyramids of Egypt and the Stonehenge of England. The temple is made of stone slabs, the largest of which measures 6½ metres. This is probably the reason local legends say the temples were built by a race of giants. To reach this site, visitors should walk through a maze of narrow walkways lined with colourful bougainvillea flowers.
Go on a diving adventure at Dwejra Bay.
Gozo is one of the best diving destinations in Europe. With over 40 diving sites in Malta and Gozo, including several diving wrecks, diving should be at the top of your things to do list. The Blue Hole is a popular dive site in Dwejra Bay. It is located near the Azure Window, which is another popular attraction. The Azure Window is a natural window that is 60-metre high and is attached to a seaside cliff. It collapsed recently and found its new home right at the bottom of the sea. As marine life starts to settle in its crevices, it now becomes one of the island’s budding diving site.
The Inland Sea is another attraction you should visit. Bring along your snorkeling gears and underwater camera to see and take pictures of the lush shallow water marine life.
Fungus Rock is also a great attraction to visit. Here you’ll stray away from the crowd and marvel at a rock that’s 65 metres high, the home of Gozo’s endemic flowering parasitic flowering plant.
Visit the quaint fishing village of Marsalforn and indulge in fresh seafood.
Marsalforn is Gozo’s top-rated resort destination. In this quaint sleepy village, you can find several restaurants that practice the sea-to-plate eating culture wherein you’ll get to choose from a range of fresh seafoods. Then, you’ll only need to wait for a couple of minutes for the chef to prepare these into a sumptuous Mediterranean menu.
You can stay at Maria Giovanni Guest House, a bed-and-breakfast hotel that serves traditionally prepared Maltese foods, including muffins and homemade cakes. Leave your bulky baggage at the hotel and head to the beach to see the Salt Pans, which were created by the ancient Romans and speak so much about Gozitan tradition of natural salt-making.
Walk on the world’s finest sands and see the breathtaking beaches of Ir-Ramla il-Hamra.
The beaches of Ramla Bay is the perfect embodiment of your ideal venue of summer holiday activity—sitting on a lounge beach chair while sipping cocktail or eating ice cream under a huge colourful umbrella.
Approximately one kilometre from Ramla Bay lies the idyllic Calypso Cave. The cave is located on a hollowed out face of Xaghra Cliffs, giving the visitor a stunning panoramic view of the azure blue waters surrounding the site.
Visit the traditional coastal village of Nadur and enjoy stunning sea views.
In Maltese language, Nadur means “to keep guard.” True to its meaning, Nadur had been the stronghold of the Knights of Malta as they watched over the channel between Gozo and Malta. Don’t miss to climb up the Ta’Kenuna Tower to get a gorgeous view of the green valleys and rolling hills below. Once you’ve had your fill of the panoramic views, head to Nadur Square and drop by its 18th-century parish church.
Visit the Basilica of Ta’Pinu to appreciate the island’s religious traditions.
As a national shrine that existed since the early 16th century, the Basilica of Ta’Pinu is a popular pilgrimage destination. It has a 47-metre high campanile and Romanesque style interior that gives the place a reverential ambiance. Located near the basilica is the Sanctuary Museum, which houses artworks and creations of the renowned Maltese painter Emvin Cremona.
Go on a swimming or fishing spree at Xlendi.
Along the southwest coast of Gozo, you can find an old fishing village called Xlendi. This typical Gozitan village is home to many contemporary seafront hotels, cafes, and restaurants. You can go on a fishing adventure and have your catch cooked into a tasty traditional Gozitan fish-based meal paired with pastizz. Also, Xlendi has natural coves and diving sites to boast, calling in tourists from around the world for a day of diving, picture taking, or swimming.
Go on a walking tour at Ta’Cenc Cliffs.
Ta’Cenc is Gozo’s highest cliff, standing at 130 metres. Its sheer precipice makes it a perfect breeding ground of Maltese falcons, a species now extinct. At the centre of the Ta’Cenc Plateau stood an ancient and mysterious monument in the midst of an oval courtyard. Archaeological studies show that the origins of this landmark can be traced back to the Temple Period (4100 BC – 3000 BC). There are also three Early Bronze Age tombs at the northern side of Ta’Cenc.
Shop for some traditionally handcrafted lace at the islands leading lace-maker in Sannat.
Sannat is Gozo’s centre of handcrafted lace-making industry. You can buy laces as presents for your loved ones at home. Time your visit in Gozo on the 27th of July to join the celebration of the feast of Saint Margaret. Drop by the Parish Church of Saint Margaret, an 18th-century architecture.
Indulge in succulent and healthy Mediterranean cuisine at the Ta’Mena Estate
As the pioneers of the Maltese agri-tourism, the Ta’Mena Estate is a must-visit for those who want to have the ultimate Maltese food trip. Here you can join a food and wine tasting tour that allows guests to pick their own veggies and fruits. As the chefs prepare the foods, they’ll also discuss the cooking traditions of the island.
Explore the famous Cathedral Cave at Ghasri Valley.
Located in the middle of Forna point and Reqqa point, the Cathedral Cave boasts of an impressive number of corals, golden zoanthids, sponges, and hydroids. But you won’t enjoy these fascinating views without putting in a little effort. You have to walk down the 90-step creek leading the cave with full diving gears.
Walk on the reddish-orange sand beaches of San Blas Bay.
If you feel like having some quality “me-time,” head to San Blas Bay. Here you can find the one-of-a-kind reddish-orange coloured sand. On your way to the secluded beach, you can pass by rocky landscapes and steep hills.
Wrap up your day in reflection at the secluded Mgarr ix-Xini beach.
This pristine site is a perfect place to write your reflective journal about your Gozitan experience. But before you start writing, be sure to bring along your free diving, snorkeling, and underwater photography gears and take a swim at its clear waters.
Pamper yourself at Kempinski Hotel Spa
After probably a long day of exploring Gozo, you’d surely love to get a restful sleep or perhaps ease your aching muscles with an indulgent spa. If that’s what you want, you can get yourself pampered at Kempinski Hotel Spa (check rates), a resort-style hotel that offers spa and other body treatment services for both women and men. Here you can enjoy herbal cleanses, natural detox treatments, massages, and exotic baths.
Even if you’ll stay for a week or two here in Gozo, you can still find a lot of ways to enjoy and experience. But if you’ll just be staying here for a day or two, be sure to do the 15 activities listed above. Rest assured that you’ll have a memorable Gozitan holiday you can’t get over for a long time.
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Do you have other recommended fun and interesting things to do in Gozo? Please feel free to share by posting a comment below.
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